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Mongolia
Facts
Area: 1.56 million sq km
Population: 2.7 million
Languages: Mongol, Turkic, Russion
Religions: Buddhism, Shamanism, Christianity, Muslim
GNI per capita: US$1,680
Currency: MNT (tugrik) ;1USD = 1,432 tugriks
 

The Mongols gained fame in the 13th century when under Chinggis KHAN they established a huge Eurasian empire through conquest. Mongolia installed a Communist regime in 1924, but abandoned its 70-year-old Soviet-style one-party state and embraced political and economic reforms in 1990. Democracy and privatization were enshrined in a new constitution, but the collapse of the economy after the withdrawal of Soviet support triggered widespread poverty and unemployment. 

Mongolia is a landlocked country spreading across 1.5 million sq km of the Central Asian plateau, but its population is far smaller than the Mongol population of China. A third of the population lives in the capital, while around forty percent of the country's workforce herds livestock in Mongolia's extensive pasturelands. However, the centuries-old nomadic lifestyle is coming under pressure from climate change and urbanization. 

Mongolia has an extreme climate, with a temperature range to suit. Droughts and unusually cold and snowy winters have decimated livestock, destroying the livelihoods of thousands of families. 


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